Stepping Forward by Looking Backwards

A post from Oleg Yanchinskiy

The week between Christmas and New Years is perhaps the most important week of the year. A week to reflect back on the year that has passed and evaluate how your accomplishments measure up to the goals you set at the beginning. It’s also a week to look forward and set yourself up for the future by creating actionable goals and adding due dates to each goal so you can hold yourself accountable. Unlike college or high school, in the real world there’s no due dates on most of the things you want to accomplish and it’s far too easy to procrastinate, which eventually just leads to those goals being forgotten. In order to hold myself accountable for some of my goals in 2018 I’m going to lay them all out right here in this blog post and share them on the internet, because if you put it on the internet, it has to be real…right?

My main priority in 2018 is to improve my productivity and creative output by getting a grasp of my focus and setting up a framework for personal accountability. Focus is arguably one of the most important factors when it comes to improving ones productivity and in today’s dopamine induced, short attention span society its arguably the hardest one to improve. But it’s absolutely essential to achieving one’s dreams, as the ancient philosopher Horace once said, “Rule your mind, or it will rule you”.

These goals are pretty much as vague as they come but we’ll make them more specific and measurable in a little bit. But first let’s talk a little strategy. The first strategy I plan to employ is to split the year into quarters. By treating each quarter as its own year with its own set of goals and measurements, we can evaluate ourselves on a more regular basis and make adjustments when we fall behind. Corporations re-evaluate themselves every quarter, why shouldn't people?

With 90 day cycles its easier to set measurable goals, and set hard deadlines to make sure you’re doing something every week to attain those goals. The primary benefit of this strategy is that it gives us more focus on the task at hand. Instead of trying to do everything at once and getting stressed out about everything, we can focus all of our attention and energy on just 1 or 2 goals.

Ok, enough strategy, lets talk goals! For this post I’m just listing all the goals I’ve set for 2018. Later on, I’ll be breaking down my goals quarter by quarter.

2018 Goals


  • Read 18 books (last year 14 books)
  • Learn Python
  • Meditate every day


  • Climb Mount Shasta
  • Benchpress 22553
  • Squat 22553
  • Try intermitted fasting
  • No meat for 90 days
  • 2 half marathons


  • Deploy a Python application
  • Do Interview Kickstart (8 weeks)
  • Do CodePath iOS course (3 months)
  • Write a short story (8-10 pages)
  • Write a blog post week - 52 posts
  • Write for 2 blog publications
    • 1 productivity blog
    • 1 coding blog
  • Deploy an iOS app
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